While modern treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have resulted in greatly improved long term outcome in children and adults, complications of atherosclerosis have become a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Although children and adolescents with SLE rarely experience adverse cardiovascular events before adulthood, dyslipoproteinemia and early evidence of premature atherosclerosis is present much earlier. Accelerated atherogenesis in SLE is multifactorial, most likely reflecting vascular, immune, and inflammatory changes along with medication effects. The long term complications of cardiovascular disease in childhood lupus present a particularly important target for intervention because of the potential return on investment by significantly lengthening life and improving quality of life over many decades. An ongoing multi-center, randomized, controlled trial, Atherosclerosis Prevention in Pediatric Lupus Erythematosus (APPLE), testing the efficacy of statins in preventing premature atherosclerosis in children and adolescents with SLE will guide future therapeutic intervention.